Palliative Medicine

Palliative Medicine is the branch of medicine involved in the treatment of patients with life-limiting disease for whom the focus of care is to optimise their quality of life through expert symptom management and psychological, social and spiritual support.


Palliative medicine specialists may work in hospital, in the community and in specialist palliative care units.

Palliative medicine specialists provide care directly to patients with complex needs related to life-limiting disease, and support other doctors in providing care for patients with life-limiting illnesses with non-complex palliative care needs. The aim of specialist training is to understand and promote the role of palliative medicine, develop and lead services and involve the patients at the centre of this service.

Palliative care focuses on relief of the pain, symptoms and stress of serious illness. The goal of palliative care is to help people live more comfortably and to provide the best possible quality of life for patients and their families.

Palliative care is offered to patients who are terminally ill, those who are managing a complex, chronic condition, and patients who are focused on recovery. It can be offered in conjunction with curative medical care and all other appropriate forms of medical treatment.

Higher Specialist Training (HST)


You must have completed Basic Specialist Training in the relevant specialty (or an equivalent programme) by the start date for HST. Please note that not all BST programmes offer consideration of equivalence.

You must have achieved a relevant postgraduate qualification such as MRCPI in General Medicine, General Paediatrics or Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Please note: we have reverted to the previous regulations regarding the examination which were in place before COVID-19. That is, all HST candidates must have successfully passed their MRCPI Clinical Examination relevant to their speciality before their HST interview date. There are no exceptions to this requirement. You must be currently or previously registered on one of the divisions of the Irish Medical Council, or provide proof of eligibility for registration

You must have proof of competency in the English language in line with HSE specifications. You must have demonstrated an aptitude for, and an interest in, that specialty.